F.P. Gaunt & Sons have an enviable and well-respected reputation as West Midlands’ premier funeral firm. Since 1900, the family-owned independent has seen six generations of the Gaunt family proudly serve the Black Country and surrounding areas with dignity and care, and now, with over 120 years in business the Gaunt family name has become synonymous with professionalism and style.
Forth-generation Peter Gaunt is now retired and the ever-evolving family business is now run and managed by his Daughter Heidi, her husband Darren and his grandsons Sam and Jake Gaunt.
Sam and Jake have embraced the fact that the funeral industry is also evolving – moving from sombre services to celebrations of life. With this in mind, the family recently completed a full overhaul of the company image with well-received and impressive results. The rebrand included a new company logo, updated brand styling and colours, refurbishments across all four branches and also a fresh new grey uniform to compliment the most exciting upgrade of all – a brand new bespoke PilatoMercedes fleet from Superior UK.
Jake Gaunt explains what went on behind the scenes in the making of this cutting-edge fleet. Jake commented “It has been an exciting journey – our plans were kept under wraps through 2022 while we worked with Superior and Pilato to design a truly bespoke fleet”, adding, “we have pushed the limits of what was possible with these vehicles and the result is incredible – we are thrilled with what we have accomplished”.
Two stunning Polaris hearses and four Lyra limousines make up the new fleet in custom-made ‘Gaunt Grey’ paint, the vehicles also feature all-black alloys and grills and hydro-dipped carbon fibre interior trims. The Polaris hearses each have a ‘Starry Sky’ effect roof above the coffin chamber with over 300 fibre optic lights each inserted by hand. Down to the finest detail the vehicles have been designed and styled to the Gaunt family’s exact requirements.
“We had decided to make the move to Mercedes-Benz and wanted something truly unique that would reflect our new image and the future of our business,” said Jake “after dealing with Superior for our removal vehicles we knew nothing would be too much for them and they would be willing and able to help realise our vision for a full new fleet”.
To begin designing the perfect Gaunt fleet brothers Jake, Sam and younger brother Joe made a visit to the Pilato factory in Italy along with Garage Foreman Ryan Taylor. Jake commented, “we met the Pilato family and they couldn’t do enough for us – we were treated like royalty”, he added, “the trip really helped as we started to look at the configuration of the cars to get inspiration and imagine what was achievable. We then discussed our ideas and intentions to custom design every aspect of our own fleet; without compromise, the team at Pilato rose to the challenge”.
A second visit with Peter Gaunt, Managing Director Heidi Share and husband Darren sealed the deal and production began – the new fleet was kept as a closely guarded secret shared only between the family members who had visited the factory, with a big reveal planned for when the vehicles were completed.
The much-anticipated delivery was made just in time for Christmas when the beautifully designed fleet was finally revealed to the rest of the Gaunt team who were delighted and overwhelmed with pride.
Heidi commented, “to see the our stunning fleet lined up with our family in pristine new uniforms was a very special moment; we created this state-of-the-art Mercedes fleet to provide our families with the best of the best and they are truly spectacular – worth every penny of our investment”.